Over the last days, an ESSKA task force has worked to publish recommendations and guidelines for resuming elective surgery, to help our members to reboot their activities in this period of pandemic in the safest environment possible.
We are perfectly aware that each of us will have to follow the rules and guidelines published by our national, local, or institutional authorities. However, they are sometimes limited. We indeed think that the roadmap to resume our elective surgery should be progressive and cautious, especially in an area of pandemic focus. At the slightest suspicion of contamination, elective surgery should be postponed. For a matter of safety, the first patients operated should be carefully selected. Elective surgery should be strictly performed in a COVID-free facility and hospital stay should be as short as possible.
ESSKA is not only a scientific society, but also a professional society which should help its membership to face this complex situation in the best way possible. The purpose of these documents is to provide our community with tools and possible answers to make them aware of the complexity of the problem. Once again, we do recognize that authorities of each country may establish rules that are enforced by law, but these documents can be useful in conducting negotiations or for practical implementation at the level of a hospital or a national specialty society. These documents cannot be imposed as official guidelines, but rather recommendations and tools for surgeons to safely restart the engine.
In this unprecedented situation and with the lack of solid science, this work is essentially based upon a review of sparse literature, interviews of specialist and mostly expert opinion. The content has been reviewed by a scientific committee.
Facility checklist to resume elective surgery
What should I inform my patient about before undergoing surgery?
Preoperative screening of patients
Which patients should you begin with for elective orthopaedic surgery?